Debra Myers Woodward
As a lifelong artist, I have explored many different mediums in making art–acrylic and oil paint, watercolors, ink, photography, graphite, soft and oil pastel, charcoal, clay, fiber, paper, wood, found objects, mixed media. I currently work with acrylic paints, pencil and pen, and photography. I received a BA in Studio Art from Principia College. I was a member of Phi Alpha Eta Honor Society and graduated with Highest Honors. I also attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. I had unique opportunities at each of these institutions and would not be the artist I am today without having attended them.
My foundational education in art came at an early age from my mother, who while having never been represented by a gallery, was a working and selling artist nevertheless. She mainly worked in realism: landscape, still life, portraiture. She taught me to see the world from the perspective of an artist. I owe much to her.
I like to think of art as an opportunity to look at the world from a different perspective than we normally do in our day-to-day lives. My hope is that my art provides a space of rest, beauty, and encouragement, but that it also might challenge the viewer to consider ideas other than those with which they are familiar, that it provides moments of astonishment and delight.
I love color! It is always the foundation of my work. It expresses so much emotion, and usually, I feel such joy at being an artist and living life, that this is what comes through in my color usage. As an artist (and appreciator of visual arts) I love to witness the process of art–in making it and watching others make it. This has led to my appreciation of seeing the process in the finished pieces. Therefore, I don’t always clean up the smudges, drips, brush strokes–they are part of the process and for me, hold value to be seen. Seeing the drips or brushstrokes is like watching the artist paint the painting. It also says something to me about humanity. Sometimes we are all cleaned up and presentable, but all of us show our messiness from time to time. I value that as much, or more, than I do our presentable selves, because I love people–right where they are, in the messiness of life. So in this way, my art imitates what I love about life.